LIRR President Releases A Statement On Recent Accidents

Earlier today, Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) President Helena Williams held a press conference at the Jamaica Station to discuss the recent accidents around the station including how yesterday’s accident would affect the P.M. rush. The agency just released her statement via a press release:

The three major service disruptions that have occurred this year at Jamaica Station are all unrelated. Here is a review of each incident and cause or apparent cause of incidents still under investigation.

Sunday, November 23, 2008:
Cause: Under Investigation:

An eastbound Huntington-Port Jefferson train entering Jamaica Station derailed at approximately 12:20 p.m. as the eighth car passed over a switch. The rear three cars derailed, with one car jackknifing over three separate tracks. No passengers were injured. The investigation, which is ongoing, is focusing on track conditions and train equipment. The Railroad has retained a nationally known expert in derailment investigations to assist our efforts. The consultant is Rail Sciences Inc., of Scottdale, Georgia.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008:
Cause: Under Investigation

A train from Port Jefferson bound for Hunterspoint Ave. sideswiped a westbound Babylon train as both trains were departing Jamaica during the morning rush hour. A preliminary investigation indicates that the Port Jefferson train may have missed a stop signal that caused it to strike the Babylon train, which had the right of way. Five passengers suffered minor injuries. The engineer of the Port Jefferson train has been removed from service without pay pending conclusion of an internal investigation.

Thursday, March 27, 2008:
Cause: Testing of New Switching Equipment

An eastbound train derailed as it entered Jamaica Station, sideswiping another train as it went off the tracks. An investigation determined that the eastbound train derailed as it passed over a switch as the switch was moving. The switch was inadvertently activated during testing of new signal equipment. No passengers were injured. New procedures have been put in place to prevent this type of occurrence from happening again during testing.

Safety continues to be the number one priority at the LIRR.

• In 2008, the railroad was awarded the E.H. Harriman Memorial Awards Institute Bronze Medal in recognition of employee safety performance.

• In 2007, the railroad has also received the MTA Chairman’s Sustained Achievement in Employee Safety Award for its 2007 record.

• The Railroad saw a 7% decrease in passenger accidents and an 11% decrease in reportable employee accidents from 2007-2008.

The LIRR reached these milestones while serving 86.1 million customers, and achieving record on-time-performance levels.

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